When you repeat a word over and over again, the word will begin to sound strange and meaningless. I thought the lecture on nothing was interesting because I felt as if Cage was inviting us to experience life through his “ears.” To him all sounds are fascinating. This is not the case for everyday people. We zone in to only what we want to hear and disregard all the rest. This lecture on nothing forced us to listen to Cage’s words and when he started to repeat them over and over again, the listener begins to feel a separation from the words and their meaning. This disassociation was what Cage was trying to convey. Words, too, can be sounds; but since we’re always intent on their meaning we never actually stop to appreciate their unique sounds.
Cage also made another statement that was very Zen. It focused on the now; on the presence of being. We are so busy going about doing all the things that we have to do that we never stop and just be, or stop to do what we really want to do for that matter. After the mantra-like repetitions, the message feels monotonous and it is hard to remain focused on the unchanging sentences. For me I did tend to become sleepy, but I resisted the urge to fall asleep because we were in class and being attentive is expected from a student. Cage says “If anybody is sleepy, let him go to sleep.” This follows his Zen idea of being. Sitting there quietly listening to the words is one state of being, but naturally if you are getting “sleepy,” don’t resist nature; simply enter into another state of being: sleep.
Cage was an interesting man in the respect that he liked to think out of the box. If everyone was thinking one way, why not think another? If everyone relies on emotion and feeling to determine decisions, why not rely on chance operation? I found it entertaining listening to Cage’s unconventional thoughts in the “Lecture on Nothing.” It gave me the opportunity to “hear” through Cage’s ears and experience something I take for granted every day, the sounds of words.